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February 05, 2005



Smash TV: 600,000 guys with 2x4s, 350,000 little orbs, 5,000 guys in mini-tanks...

yeah, I think there's not really any way to compare!

Lama Himself

I don't know if this is based on the same study, but in the develop magazine #20 there is an article on this kind of measures.

The jumping time was more like 0.7 seconds.

An other measure is the time to complete a combo in third person games (average result : 2 seconds)

The last and the most interestinf measure (I think) is the time to go from start point to end point in a level (whithout complete mission, just the "travel time") : between 1min20 and 1min30.

Anonymous Coward

Who is Mark Nau? Why do you always mention him?

Anonymous Coward 2

More importantly, what's up with the fetish for reductionism?


This data is interesting, but guess what? It is useless and even dangerous without any context. I'd like to know WHY so many games have the 0.6 second jump, and WHY the color red is used for stoplights and stop signs. Those are the real questions, and they're harder to answer. Not impossible, just harder.

If you think you can find the Magic Bullet of Game Design by playing the numbers like this, you are either desperate, ignorant, deeply cynical or some combination thereof.

Sean Barrett

I think you'd have to divide number of enemies by playtime to get anything even close to an interesting number, otherwise it will just conflate the two. Bodycounts and swearword counts in movies often don't do this, but there's something resembling a standard length for a movie.


I dont see the point of this..

Analyzing and comparing games with no context other than frequency of monster encounters is less than worthless, it's counterproductive. No offense or anything, but I fail to see how something like this could possibly lead to anything other than confusion.

In fact, over-analyzing things like this would seem to lead to the homogenized me-too crap we've been subjected to for years.

Listen to Mark on this one..this is worse than bad data, it's inherently flawed due to the sheer number of variables you would have to consider to even begin to draw anything out of it, if you could draw anything useful out of it at all, and I would be highly doubtful that you could.

Damion Schubert

I'd like to know WHY so many games have the 0.6 second jump, and WHY the color red is used for stoplights and stop signs.

The 'why' may simply be 'feel'. I realize that this is unsatisfactory, but it's exactly why those designing these things are interested in measuring and finding out numbers like point-five-six. 'Feel' is a terribly hard thing to quantify or explain to someone else, and it's subjective to boot.


I say bad data is not really that bad if you realize that is bad data.
There's nothing wrong with having more knowledge even if it's a minor midget thing like this.
This way I think is easier to decide and valorate where your game is in relation to enemy counts.

A bit offtopic but gamerankings is bad data too. Anyways I still find it interesting. While I don't take too seriously those review averages there's nothing wrong. The same with these jump, enemy count datas.

If every developer followed this informations we would end up receiving the same game with different skin. Awful...


Afaik the article was published in Develop magazine, as mentioned, and written by Ben Cousins?



The article is 'Mind your language - Unlocking the secret formula of game design'
And the sweet spot is between 0.6 and 0.8 secs for a jump.


I think the reason that spiderman's jump works is because you normally do a super-jump anyhow, rather than a normal human jump. Plus spider man is not 'normal' so he doesn't have to fall into the 'normal' scale of things (great game btw, but why do I only get three saves on my XBox with a 10GB HDD? And why does it take so long to save? maybe a blog on those design decisions? anyway... ).

Darren Korman

from a Production planning and budgeting standpoint, you can get some usefull INITIAL information out of a body count to at least guess man-hours involved in making a comparable product.

Its also usefull from a design standpoint to help understand pacing of levels for a similar game.

in my expereince, I don't have time as a developer to test all the possible ranges of monster count and gameplay pacing. In fact, I have to have a good plan/idea of what I KNOW will work before I start actual production of a level, of how gameplay will turn out.

Its more time efficiant to analyze what other games have done and base my planning upon those results. developing levels, engineering features and art assets from scratch and then testing them at the end to find out if they are "fun" is just plain stupid.

Nathan McKenzie

I think what I'd really like is a timeline graph showing WHEN (time-wise) players encountered monsters / encounters in various games like Half-Life 1 & 2, Halo, Doom3, PoP, and so on, perhaps with the introduction of new enemies or new types of situations (assuming that level design matters in the fights) marked somehow. Obviously such a graph would be highly dependent on the specific play through. Maybe I need an intern to just play games for me and record data... Hmm.

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